Reach More. Enroll More.

Conventional wisdom says the sooner you engage your leads with a live person, the better. Seems like a no brainer, doesn’t it? 

If You Can’t Engage Your Leads ASAP, Chances Are Someone Else Will. 

Every minute counts. Typically prospects for undergraduate programs will inquire to 3-5 different schools, while graduate typically 2-3 schools. We do not need to tell you that it’s competitive out there. Prospects are spoiled and able to choose from multiple schools. But every moment that passes between that initial outreach and contact, their interest starts to wane or worse your competitor contacts them first. Prospects are going to be eager to work with the school that connects with them first.  

First to Contact = Higher Conversion Rate

According to Harvard Business Review, organizations that respond to customers within the first hour of contact are seven times more likely to convert them to sales. Read that again. Seven times more likely. In other words, you could be losing thousands in tuition revenue due to poor response time. Faster is always better, but immediate is best. Even better than responding is instant, inbound contact or speed to contact. 

Speed to contact and speed to lead are often confused; they are not the same. Yet, both are critically important.

Speed to contact is the amount of time it takes to turn an inbound lead into a qualified prospect and speaking to your university. It’s instant inbound. It’s click to call to close. Different from speed to lead, which is how long it takes for a lead who’s shown interest in your university to receive a response from an admissions rep, speed to contact deals with instantly having an actual discussion with a live human.  Faster is always better, but immediate is best. 

Why Inbound is Better

Here’s why inbound is better:

  • Inbound calls have greater intent and covert at a higher rate. Students, like consumers, rarely enroll or make a major purchase without speaking to a person.
  • An Inbound call is immediate and allows you to circumvent the competition by speaking directly to prospects who are lower down the funnel and are ready.  
  • Prospects feel safer providing personal information in a direct conversation, and phone interactions provide the ideal circumstance to gather the soft data that is often difficult to get through other channels. 
  • Phone interaction provides things that online channels do not, including the opportunity to engage on a deeper level and guide the interaction based on information like tone of voice, reaction, verbal cues, and response time to build rapport and create a positive and memorable customer experience.
  • First to contact usually means first to enroll. Better prospect experience means higher referrals 

So, is speed to lead still important? Absolutely. Even for submissions that do not ask for immediate contact, you still need to be first to contact. What’s required to be first? Within 15 minutes, at least. On your behalf, we will be first to contact. 

Both are essential to driving conversion because instant inbound and immediate response ensure you are first to contact and first to contact usually wins. This is critically important because it gives you the opportunity to connect and take the prospect out of the market and get them committed to your college without multiple outreach attempts by your staff.

We do both. We provide branded, instant inbound or immediate response. We ensure that you will be there and be first. We turn action into enrollments. Leveraging the best of the best practices without you staffing 24/7 we put your university in the top tier for prospect engagement.  Learn more about how you can use Ed Connex to instantly qualify, and schedule meetings with inbound leads.

At Education Connex, our advice is simply put speed to contact at the top of your to-do list. In fact, it should be your number one priority. Admissions leaders should prioritize speed to contact; presidents, CFO’s and marketers should demand it.

Our Conclusion 

Opportunities abound for online universities to convert more inquiries without spending more money. There is an incredibly good chance you are missing growth and mission opportunities because of your team’s speed to contact is not what it should be. If you’re spending money on any marketing, you’re losing money until you fix this. We can help. 

Since 2008 we have been helping colleges grow enrollment. Call us at 877-434-1828 or email We’re here to help your university succeed.